From the New Maya Angelou Quarter to an Art Shipping Company’s Far-Right Ties: The Best and Worst of the Art World This Week

Catch up on this weeks' news, fast.

The new Maya Angelou quarter. Courtesy of the U.S. Mint.
The new Maya Angelou quarter. Courtesy of the U.S. Mint.

BEST👍

Maya Angelou Is On the Money – The artist of a new coin discusses the symbolism of her design featuring the late poet, who becomes the first Black woman to grace the U.S. quarter.

Surrealism’s Real Reach – On this week’s Art Angle podcast, Ben Davis and Andrew Goldstein discuss the Met’s show examining the global impact of the Surrealist art movement.

Eva Presenhuber Expands (Again) – The art dealer is opening her second new outpost in as many years, this time in Vienna.

KAWS Goes Virtual – The artist’s latest show at the Serpentine Galleries has a virtual presence too, popping up in the Fortnite video game.

Uncertainty Continues to Plague Calendar – Art fairs continue to deal with changing travel guidelines, so Art Basel Hong Kong will have a lot more “ghost booths” and a contingency plan for a later date.

Christie’s Goes East – The auction house is adding an event in Shanghai to coincide with its London sale and encourage young Asian buyers.

Pop Star Sells Banksys – British star Robbie Williams is selling three works by the anonymous artist worth more than $13 million.

Ousted Montreal Museum Director Settles – Nathalie Bondil, who accused the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts of wrongful termination, has settled with the museum.

Dutch Government Brings a Rembrandt Home – The Netherlands just bought a $198 million painting, but critics worry the money will pass through a tax haven in the Cook Islands.

WORST👎

Art Shipping Supply Company’s Far Right Ties – The founder of Uline, Richard Uihlein, has given millions to far right groups, including ones tied to January 6.

Russian Artist in Deep Sh*t – Artist Ivan Volkov installed a giant sculpture of poop at a St. Petersburg burial ground, and now he’s facing criminal charges.

Mandela Sale Quashed Over Criticism – South Africa stepped in to halt a planned sale of Nelson Mandela’s personal belongings in New York, claiming the objects didn’t have the right export permits.

The Louvre Versus Le Pen – The Paris museum is considering taking far-right politician Marine Le Pen to court for staging a campaign video on its property without permission.

No One Wants This Roman Villa – A grand villa boasting the only ceiling mural Caravaggio ever painted failed to find even a single bidder willing to pony up $546 million at auction.

Spa Day at the Museum? – More than 60 cultural institutions in the Netherlands are protesting unequal lockdown measures by hosting spa services, hair stylists, and gyms.

1-54 Cancels Marrakech Edition – For the second year in a row, the African Art Fair called off the event, opting for a scaled-down version at Christie’s Paris in April.


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